Here are our favorite animated films of 2021


Besides having several (I mean many) animated series to watch in 2021, we’ve also had a few movie releases – both in theaters and streaming. To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed every animated movie I got to watch this year, so this list is basically a recap of the movies I watched and why they were so enjoyable (with links to where you can watch them, of course, if they are available).

Given the movie

Synopsis: The seasons change, and with that comes a new opportunity for the band. As Mafuyu tries to write a new song for an audition for an upcoming music festival, he discovers the complicated relationship between Akihiko and her ex-boyfriend Ugetsu. The two still live together and are unable to completely overcome each other. Meanwhile, Haruki harbors unrequited feelings for Akihiko.

Where to watch: Crisp

Revise the quote: I love the post that it’s hard to get away from something you’ve gotten used to, even though it’s painful. You have no idea what’s going on and it’s scary to venture into the unknown. While it’s so easy to just write off someone as unwilling to walk away from shitty circumstances, the bottom line is that sometimes people are too scared because the alternative could be worse.

It’s hard to walk away from painful love when you’re not sure if you have love once it’s gone, especially if you’re gay.

You can check out my full review here.

You can also check out the live action Given series, which also came out this year and is pretty darn cute.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: Messy, but real relationships, and a path to new love after taking the necessary steps to become a better person. As well? New song from Mafuyu, always a bonus.

Stranger from the Shore

Shun kisses Mio

Synopsis: the Stranger on the shore follows the love story of Shun Hashimoto, an aspiring novelist, and Mio Chibana, a grieving young man, who both find more than they expected during a time of transition. As the days go by, the two young men find themselves on a journey of friendship and romance that is always unique and peaceful. But self-doubt, family, acceptance and fear will challenge these young men, because nothing is worth fighting without taking risks.

Where to watch: Funimation

Revise the quote: Stranger from the Shore It’s really a love story, but beyond that it’s a story about working your feelings about your sexuality and who you are. While there is clearly an attraction between Shun and Mio, they cannot approach fully exploring it until they resolve their issues of doubt and uncertainty, especially Shun. Shun has the greatest conflict when it comes to homosexuality, and it keeps him from fully embracing Mio and, more importantly, himself.

You can check out my full review here.

You can also check out my interview with the dub cast here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: A queer love story that shows we can’t fully embrace the love someone has for us until we learn to love ourselves. Also, a lot of mellow moments found with family.

Josée, the tiger and the fish

Synopsis: Tsuneo, an ordinary student and avid scuba diver, unexpectedly becomes the guardian of a young woman in order to raise funds for this dream of going diving in Mexico. This young woman, who is called Josee after her favorite book character, is brooding and demanding, but as Tsuneo helps Josee interact with the outside world and learn more about Joseeunique point of view, their feelings turn into love. The two begin to support each other beyond mere romance.

Where to watch: Was in theaters over the summer, no word on a streaming or physical release, but it was licensed by Funimation.

Revise the quote: Josée, the tiger and the fish is the perfect summer anime romance. It’s a story full of visually stunning animations, extremely likable characters, a gripping plot, and a main couple that you cheer on from start to finish. Josée and Tsuneo are going to send your heart a wide range of emotions, some good, some painful, but ultimately incredibly honest and beautiful.

You can check out my full review here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: Romance, angst, lots of fluff, one extremely a big touching romantic gesture and an endearing and quarrelsome couple that will make you smile.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Mugen Train Movie

Synopsis: Falling into a never-ending dream forever… Tanjiro and the group have completed their rehab training at the Butterfly Mansion, and they arrive on their next mission on the Mugen Train, where over 40 people have disappeared in a very short time. Tanjiro and Nezuko, along with Zenitsu and Inosuke, join one of the Demon Slayer Corps’ most powerful swordsmen, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, to take on the demon aboard the Mugen Train on the Path of Despair.

Where to watch: Funimation / Crunchyroll (additional note: both platforms have the Mugen Train Saga if you prefer to watch this as an episodic anime arc)

Physical output: Funimation

Revise the quote: All the characters are at their peak, with visually stunning combat animation paired with these mind-blowing sheet music that thrills you every time a character grabs their sword. Honestly, I’m always stuck somewhere between “these attacks look like paintings I’d hang on my wall” and “this battle choreography lives rent free in my head.”

You can check out my full review here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: Good shonen sword fighting action backed up by nice animation, cool (and sometimes silly) characters, and a shirtless boar-headed man.

SHIROBAKO the movie

Synopsis: Four years after the events of the series, Musashino Animation has seen unprecedented changes and things are looking bleak for the studio. One day, Aoi Miyamori is offered the role of manager of a new theatrical animation project. A few months before the deadline, can MusAni complete the project in its current state? It’s up to Aoi to work alongside familiar and new faces to complete the project on time!

Where to watch: Was in theaters over the summer, no word on a streaming release, but it’s available physically on Shout! Factory.

Revise the quote: Creativity is difficult, not just from a writer’s perspective, but because there are so many unaccounted for variables that can put you on your stomach. People take you for granted, place unrealistic expectations on you, assume you’ll be working for peanuts just to get your work out, and overwork you to the point of having to decide whether you should send your work just to get it done or to grow. through fatigue to improve it. Anime is pretty well known for doing these things, but in reality all of the creative industries are to blame in one way or another.

SHIROBAKO the movie shows it all, but he also remembers that it’s an anime and has some cute, silly moments that you’d only see an anime do. It is only in the anime that you will see a girl working her thoughts as she talks to plush toys that come to life, leading to a musical performance that pays homage to different styles of animation.

You can check out my full review here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: A fun but truthful look at the work it takes to make an anime, how hard work can pay off (and sometimes, not at all), and how creative areas are often taken for granted.

My Hero Academia: Mission of the Heroes of the World

Bakugo Deku and Todoroki shop like the good boys do

Synopsis: When a sinister organization threatens to wipe out all superhuman powers, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Two hours before civilization collapses, Deku, Bakugo, and Todoroki manage to work as a team, but there remains a problem. Deku is on the run for murder.

Where to watch: Was in theaters over the summer, no word on a streaming or physical release, but it was licensed by Funimation.

Revise the quote: Honestly this is a movie you could show someone to try and make them understand why My hero university is such a beloved franchise, at least if you wanted to do it in a way that takes under two hours and tells a full story by that point. The fights are high level. The characters are endearing. And it’s just a fun way to be a part of such a wonderful franchise.

However, if you’re a fan like me, this movie is the definition of a delicious popcorn flick that will be with you until we have this sixth season.

You can check out my full review here.

You can also check out my interview with the dub cast here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: RODY FRICKIN ‘SOUL !!!

Plus, if you want some fun, anime superhero action, adorable characters, stressful REAL fight scenes, and a really good birb.

Bonus live-action anime adaptation: Tokyo Revengers

Mikey and Draken in Tokyo Revengers

Synopsis: A naked, tattooed yakuza is bloodied and terrorized by a new breed of well-dressed gangsters in a luxury car. The Tokyo Manji Gang is flaunting its muscles and a furious underworld conflict is underway. It even affects the life of Takemichi Hanagaki, a cowardly and cowardly loser in his mid-twenties, when he hears the news that his high school girlfriend and brother have been killed. Then Takemichi himself is attacked, pushed onto the subway tracks as the train rushes at him. At the last second, however, Takemichi is transported 10 years into the past, once again becoming his harsh, arrogant teenager. He’s back where the madness started. He might just have a chance to change the future – if he can survive his own past!

Where to watch: Nowhere, yet, since it hit theaters in Japan over the summer. I was lucky enough to catch it at a virtual film festival. I’m still hoping for a US release for this, whether in theaters or streaming (or both).

Revise the quote: Obviously the goal was to make a good movie rather than trying to prepare multiple movies that covered all of the Tokyo Avengers, and, well, I think they did. I think it’s the perfect way to entertain existing fans and even create new fans who might wonder how far Takemichi’s story goes. Tokyo Avengers is one hell of a ride that anime / manga fans – and anyone who just fancies watching a good beat-em-up movie – will enjoy.

You can check out my full review here.

Watch this movie if you are in the mood for: A solid, beat-em-up movie based on a fantastic animated series. The characters are endearing, the actors they’ve got for them are SPOT ON, and the film focuses on telling a full story instead of trying to set up threads for future projects.

Here is a year full of amazing anime content!

(Image: Funimation / Crunchyroll)

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